Walden is a diverse village, where people of many faiths coexist.
That was evident Sunday evening at the First Reformed Church in Walden where the faithful gathered for an evening of songs and prayers on Sunday.
Members of the audience joined forces in singing the opening hymn, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” before James O’Connell, reverend of the Walden First Reformed Church, gave the opening prayer. This gave way to performances by people of several different faiths.
Rabbi Nava Herzog of the Walden Jewish Community Center sang two songs. She orchestrated the songs in both English and Hebrew. Many struggled to pronounce the lyrics in Hebrew, but were happy to learn a new language. The rabbi smiled from ear to ear.
“And the most I can wish for all of you, all my friends, is true peace,” she said.
Later, Reverend Chodrunga Ani Kunga Chodron of the Tsechen Kunchab Ling Temple in Walden recited a poem called “Thanksgiving for the Kindness of Parents”. The poem discusses how much parents care for their children.
“Even if a mother lives for a hundred years, she will constantly worry about her eighty-year-old child,” Chodron said.
Rev. Peggy Sullivan of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church read a poem called “We Will Not Keep Silent”. O’Connell impressed everyone with his incredible vocals when he sang “All Good Gifts” by Stephen Swartz.
The Fox Hill Bruderhof Community made sure their voices were heard as well. They presented a Native American prayer for peace. Stained Glass Voices, a local band played hit songs from artists such as Van Morrison and Bob Marley.
“When you listen to what each fellowship brings to the table, it reminds you that people are gifted in ways that bless one another when they get together,” O’Connell said.